The Weasel

By Peg Keeley

Part 4

McGarrett stormed out into the hall. Wetzel stood downstairs by the city desk, fury in his eyes, hands clenched. Matthewson stood nervously behind him. "McGarrett, I've been up all night, can't this wait till I get some sleep?" Wetzel snapped annoyance plain.

"I've been up all night, too," Steve retorted. "I almost lost an undercover cop tonight because you denied him his contact. Thanks to you and DEA we had officers shoot each other!"

"Now wait!" Carl shouted.

"No, you wait, you wimp!" Wetzel exploded, turning on the DEA lieutenant. "You didn't like the outcome, there's dirt in the department, so you go running scared to each other--safety in numbers! Worried about what else I'll dig up, Matthewson? McGarrett?" He glared at each in turn, then sneered. "Bunch of babies."

"You listen here." Steve gripped him by the collar. "You are a danger to everything the law stands for. You come in here with your flowery promises to politicians, the pied piper to rid us of all evil if we will just look the other way. And what happens? You violate rights, innocent people are victimized-"

"Victim? What victim? There's no victim. Your buddy is charged with possession, resisting arrest, discharging a firearm--" Wetzel, flushed red, fired back.

"The safeguards are there for a reason--for the protection of all," Steve said more quietly. "They protect the innocent and the guilty alike. Nobody can be that damned sure. And when those safeguards are removed, society itself is reduced to anarchy."

"This isn't about noble society, McGarrett." Wetzel snarled. "It's about your friend getting busted and that makes you and your righteous department look bad."

Someone cleared a throat and all three men turned to face Governor Moyer. "I thought this discussion was going to wait for me," he said quietly. There were uniformed officers standing around all over the department staring at the show down.

Steve realized he still gripped Wetzel's shirt and let go. "We were just warming up," he muttered.

The Governor motioned towards the hallway where more personnel peeked around corners. "Well, let's find somewhere just a little less public."

"I have just the place," McGarrett retorted. "Danny wants to be a part of this."

Wetzel and Matthewson both started to protest.

"What's your problem? You're the ones who wanted to throw out the rules," McGarrett remarked, leading them back upstairs to the conference room.

As Steve opened the door, Danny was just hanging up the phone. "I just called John Manicote. He's three minutes away."

"You called the DA?" Wetzel asked.

"Sounded like we might need a referee."

"Sounds like we might need a bigger room," Matthewson commented.


Duke sat in the soft chair beside Kono's bed. The dialysis machine hummed softly as it pumped Kono's poisoned blood through its filtration system and back into the unconscious officer. Duke's eyelids were heavy from lack of sleep and comedown from the high of the adrenaline flow earlier. Kono is a good man. I was recruited to Five-0 on his recommendation. He would never have done something to blow his cover, how did they find out? Things are happening and I don't know what they are. Against his will, he eyes closed, his head dropped back in exhausted slumber.

"Hey, Duke."

He startled alert at the sound of Kono's voice and was out of the chair at his side instantly. How do you feel?"

"Can't sleep cause you're snoring," he mumbled.

Duke gave a grin. Even at his worst, Kono can still make a joke. "I'll tone it down," he agreed quietly, then repeated, "How do you feel?"

He slowly closed his eyes, then reopened them. "Mouth fulla sand. Got some water?"

Duke glanced around, not sure if it was all right, and spotted a pitcher and straw.

"Good stuff, that water," Kono approved after he'd taken a sip.

"You remember what happened?"

"Enough to know I'm swearing off whisky for life," Kono replied. "What was going on? Where's Danno?"

Duke knew that was not the issue right now. "It's okay. Do you remember anything about Mayan Shipping?"

"The Star of India came in last night. Unloaded nearly her whole hold. Crates all unlabeled. They contained stuff like ivory tusks, skins."

Duke scowled. "Drugs in 'em?"

"No, man. Contraband. Just about as valuable and you can buy off the customs officials overseas for that stuff. They play the shell game with those crates till the only way to track it is by the supervisor's clipboard. We can't get 'm if we can't find the loot."

Duke found it hard to accept that all the complicated ruse was about tusks and skins. "How can we find them?"

Kono shook his head. "We don't, Duke. The Star of India will have gone by this morning and probably with the guys who tried to kill me on board."

Duke did not answer right away. The possibility of Kono having risked his life on a case that would now escape was more than he wanted to admit. There would have to be a way.


While awaiting Manicote's arrival, Moyer took the opportunity to bully HPD into providing the conference room with coffee, juice and three dozen donuts.

"Looks more like a damned Sunday brunch than an interrogation," Carl muttered.

McGarrett also wondered if Moyer had any idea of the depth of complication that the incident at the cottage had created. "You aren't even going to consider..." Kimo had started. No, I'm not. I can't. I know Danno too well, better than anyone. Not him. But what if Wetzel's right? He glanced at Danny who sat glaring at the floor, an obvious black mood that had only deepened by Moyer trivializing the issue with the food. Wetzel is wrong, Steve concluded stubbornly.

When Manicote arrived, he brought with him that air lawyers usually do of being in control. He too gave a wry expression at the mountain of pastries on the walnut finish Formica. "What is all this?" he asked of the person with the most seniority--Moyer.

"I'd like to introduce you to Oliver Wetzel," Moyer said politely.

"Aha," he said slowly. "I heard you were here."

Wetzel glared silently and did not extend a hand.

"And," John pulled a paper from his jacket pocket, "this is a copy of Judge Suski's search warrant grant to Wetzel to search the cottage owned by Clara Williams' estate last night. It lists the occupant as a Joyce Richards. How am I doing so far?"

"He told us it was a search and seizure!" Matthewson jammed a finger towards Wetzel. "He didn't even tell us who it was!"

"There are leaks in the department, you jerk!" Wetzel yelled. "Someone could have tipped him off. They'd have been gone."

"They?" John asked, but no one listened.

"We didn't even know it was Williams' place!" Carl argued. "All we knew was that we announced ourselves and somebody started shooting at us!"

"No way! You did not announce!" Danny hollered, ignoring the painful arm as he jumped up.

"They did! They announced on the way through the door--just like protocol!"

"And since when is it protocol to shoot first!"

"Hey! Now see-"

"Who fired first?" John shouted to be heard.

"They did" Danny insisted.

"He shot Bill Franklin!" Carl accused.

"After Greg Hunter shot me!"

John rubbed her forehead. It wasn't even eight o'clock on a Sunday morning. "Gentlemen, if you please."

"DEA didn't do anything wrong. We announced. Greg told him to drop the weapon, he didn't. He was reaching in his pocket for something else."

"My ID!" Danny put in.

"Yeah, I know that now. Greg didn't know that." Carl stopped a second and added more quietly, "What would you have done in our place, Danny?"

Steve gestured to the blood stained T-shirt Danny was wearing. The letters P.A.L. were blazed in bold black lettering across the front. "Doesn't seem to me that anyone looked very closely."

"The damned light got shot out." Carl thew up his hands. "All I know is that we followed protocol. If we'd been told we were bustin' a cop maybe it would have been different. With the door bustin' and that girl screaming--"

"What girl?" John and Steve asked together.

Danny's face reddened. "Rita Prate, the singer from Andy's."

Good God, not another singer, Steve thought before he could stop himself.

"Can I ask what she was doing there?" Wetzel put in.

"Not what you think," Danny snapped.

"Yeah? You tell me what I think." Wetzel jutted his jaw out.

"I don't give a damn what you think. You're the one who's the cause of all this!"

John tried to bring about order again. "Danny, please. Wetzel, can we try to keep this civil?"

Danny slumped back onto the edge of his chair, tired, sore, angry, and embarrassed at having been dragged in HPD like a common crook and sitting here barefoot on the cold linoleum floor.

Wetzel walked to the far side of the room and stared at the paneled wall as if to divorce himself from the entire proceedings.

"Let's remember we're just trying to get to the bottom of all this," John sighed. "Okay, Danny, you had this girl, Rita, at your aunt's place."

"She needed a place to stay following an assault on Friday. She surprised somebody breaking in to her home. They beat her up," Danny explained. "I was just giving her a safe place to stay."

"You have the police report number, I assume," John interjected.

He felt like kicking himself. "She didn't want to file a report."

Steve frowned. "You let her get away with that?"

"I was going to talk her into doing it Sunday--today. Just talk to her, she'll confirm it."

"We don't know where she is," Carl informed him.

"What do you mean?" He looked alarmed.

Wetzel spun back. "They lost the damned girl! What a bunch of jerks!"

Carl's face now flushed. "Drew took her out to the car. He left her to check on Bill. When he got back, she was gone."

"The only witness and you let her walk away!" Wetzel hooted.

Carl jabbed a finger at him. "Don't you start with me again!"

Steve was moving towards the phone. "Danno, let's get an APB out. I assume neither of you has, right?" he remarked to Matthewson and Wetzel.

Danny gave the description. "Have them check at Andy's, maybe she went there. I had been thinking someone might be after her and she was afraid to tell me. Maybe she told Andy something."

"We'll find her," Steve said with determination.

Wetzel rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Unless she doesn't want to be found. She's facing possession charges, too, you know. That girl has disappeared into the sugar cane somewhere."

Steven spun towards him, anger just barely in check. "There aren't a lot of people I'd like to beat to a pulp. Congratulations, you've just made the list."

Wetzel never blinked, just stepped forward, eye to eye with Steve. "Name your place."

"For the love of God, what is this?" Moyer asked, throwing up his hands. "I haven't seen such childish behavior out of a roomful of men since adolescence!"

"See what happens when we decide to throw out the rules?" McGarrett remarked.

Moyer let it go by without further comment.

John used his handkerchief to mop his brow. "So far we have established that Danny had a--visitor--who's now missing--who may or may not have had an assault."

"That's for real," Danny blurted. "She was beat up."

"Okay." He raised his hands. "She was assaulted. She came to you for help and you took her out to the cottage instead of filing a police report because....." He looked at Danny to fill in the blank.

"She didn't want to go to the police," he filled in miserably, feeling stupid.

"And why did you go to the cottage?"

He shrugged. "I have two bedrooms there. Nobody knows about it--well, at least they didn't."

"You took a girl to a remote location alone and spent the night. Doesn't that sound like poor judgment?" John asked, sounding like a teenager's father.

"It does now," he admitted.

John turned back to Wetzel, who stood looking at the wall again. "You obtained a search warrant based on what evidence?"

Wetzel glanced at John with a grin, then back at the wall. "Research, investigation, bank records." He stopped.

When it became plain Wetzel was not going to voluntarily continue, Manicote said, "Would you be more specific?"

"Why? I don't have to."

"Well, you can't press charges in this state without it. Not to mention the little issue about falsification on the warrant."

Wetzel turned towards him, looking ready to attack the smaller DA.

"You knew this Joyce Richards didn't occupy the house anymore, but you put her name on the warrant," John fearlessly stated to clarify the point.

Wetzel growled. "For security."

"It is still illegal."

Wetzel yanked the form from his jacket pocket. "You see this?" He shoved it first at Manicote, then Moyer. "You signed this," he snapped at the Governor. "Unlimited rights, remember?"

"It doesn't matter what he signed," Manicote declared, realizing that he was also starting to react to Wetzel. "You are still limited by the Constitution, Wetzel."

Wetzel sized up Manicote. "Very well," he said with a nod, as if pandering to nursery school children. He turned, hands on hips towards Williams. "You were followed for two days. In that time, you met with known drug dealers three times. I have photographic evidence of you giving money to two of them."

He scowled. "I am following the gang wars, Wetzel. I paid snitches a few times this week."

"Whatever you say," Wetzel replied coldly. "I have evidence of you giving drug dealers money. And records that 18 months ago you were treated for a cocaine overdose."

"You bastard!" Danny exploded.

"AND we found drugs in your residence, your car. Even a plastic bag of six packets buried outside the house. There was fresh dirt on your boots!" Wetzel shouted back.

"I dug up a dead bush! John, I'm not going to stand for this twisting of the facts!" Danny was on his feet and headed for the door. "I'm out of here!"

Wetzel blocked the door. "You're not going anywhere. Your're under arrest. Besides..." He paused and a sly smile creased his face. " haven't heard the rest. I know about the bank account at Hawaiian National."

"I don't have an account there," Danny refuted.

Wetzel gave a chuckle.

He's enjoying this, Steve realized, like a cat would play with a mouse before it moves in for the kill. Is that what Wetzel is doing? Moving in for the kill?

"Come on, Williams, I know it all, might as well fess up!" Wetzel declared.

"Somebody else--"

"Yeah, set you up," Wetzel finished. "Then they began the frame in 1949! That account was opened in 1949. No activity since 1952, it just puttered around adding interest to a principle of about $60. But, nine weeks ago, $50,000 was added." He assumed an innocent gaze. "Where's you find $50,000 on a cop's salary, Williams?"

He stood speechless.

"Money in the four zeros has been flying in and out of that account like crazy." Wetzel strutted to the far side of the room and turned back. "Well, boys?" He looked from man to man.

"But there is no bank account," Danny repeated.

Wetzel gave one more stuccotic chuckle of sarcasm. "Here's how it goes, folks. The man has a quiet habit. Only managed to get snagged once--or maybe that started him, hard to say." He shrugged. "But, about nine weeks ago, he makes a hooker girl friend. Now he's feeding them both, so to speak. He decided to get some freebies by pulling some drug jobs himself. Maybe a few payoffs. But to keep things quiet, he uses his old dime savings that has been collecting dust for thirty years or so."

"This is all a big sham," Danny stated. It'll never get to court."

"Really? How about when it gets to the press?" Wetzel said quietly. "Because if the Hawaiian legal system won't lock you up that's where it'll go. The press will eat you alive."

Steve watched the color drain from Danny's face. Williams gripped the back of the chair, hands shaking, eyes staring down at the table as the emotion melted away. Good Lord, he's going to come apart right in front of me, Steve realized in horror. Wetzel doesn't know. He can't possibly know, but right now Danny doesn't believe that. I should have made him talk about it. I should have made him get help. I need to get him away from this.

"Danny," Manicote tried to control the exchange again, "trust me. See this through." He had also observed the change in Williams, but could not have interpreted the cause accurately.

Danny looked up at Manicote, but obviously had not heard him. He suddenly bolted for the door. Wetzel moved in to block the way, but Danny's shoulder slammed against his chest, pitching him sideways into the water cooler beside the door. The twenty-gallon glass water bottle wobbled, then hit the linoleum spraying water and glass everywhere.

Steve made it to the door only seconds after Danny, but Danny was not to be seen. A secretary stood, open-mouthed in the hallway, a stack of forms still in her arms. Wordlessly, she pointed towards the firedoor of the stairwell leading to the roof at the end of the hall. The door was just clicking shut.

Steve burst into the stairwell, just as the thick steel door to the roof above clanged. "Danno?" His voice echoed in the well. Silence answered him. Steve raced up the stairway and burst through the door out onto the tar and gravel roof into the brilliant sunshine. The early morning air was still crisp and carried the salt of the breeze off the water.

Danny was standing at the edge of the roof, one bare foot on the ledge, looking down. If he knew Steve was also on the roof, he did not reveal it.

McGarrett's heart thundered in fear. This isn't really happening. It's a nightmare. What do I do? "Danno?" he said quietly, taking a few steps closer.

There was no response.

Caught between wanting to yell at him to snap out of it and wanting to hold him like an injured child, Steve waited. He finally found words. "Danno, look at me."

He did not.

"No one believes Wetzel."

Aside form the light breeze that ruffled his hair, Williams made no movement.

How many times have I talked jumpers out of their decisions? Yet, now when it matters the most, I cannot think of the right thing. "Danno, please. This isn't the way." Does he even hear me? What is he thinking? "Talk to me. What's happening? I am here for you."

A single tear dropped onto the concrete ledge of the roof.

McGarrett dared a step closer. If I lunge for him, what will he do? If I don't, what will he do? "Come with me. We can straighten this mess out. It's just a big misunderstanding. You know that, I know that. It'll be all right."

"It will never be all right," his voice whispered back.

Steve was surprised that he had responded and a bit relieved. At last. We can still reach each other. "Okay, let's talk about it," he offered. I must keep him talking.


"Because it will help."

"Nothing will help."

"Won't know if we don't try."

"Wetzel's right."

About what? "Danno, I know you aren't a dirty cop."

"Why didn't you had let me die when Chaney shot me? What's the point? Nothing has ever been the same. Lani----" He started to weep.

Steve wanted more than anything to put an arm over his sobbing friend's shoulder. "Give me your hand, Danno."

Instead he stepped up onto the ledge with the other foot.

"God, Danno, please!" Steve blurted.

"Why wasn't it me?" he whispered between sobs. "Lani died because of me!"

"You know that isn't true," Steve risked to counter. "You did all you could."

"I told her she would be okay! I told her...." His voice was lost in the pain once again. "I disgraced her memory! Mali---I thought I could help her. God, Mali......" He stopped talking again. It seemed like an eternity that there was no sound except the tears. "I should have died." He buried his face in his hands and his muffled voice said, "I should have let them kill could I have done that...How could I? They were going to kill me---they said they would eat me. I should have just stopped them. There should have been something else. How could I?..." his voice trailed off.

McGarrett knew he was close enough. He grabbed hold of Danny from behind by both arms and pulled him back from the ledge with such force that they both landed in a tangle on the sharp stones of the roof. For a moment, Steve just held on for all he was worth, thankful that the most immediate danger was passed. When he found his voice he said quietly, "Danny, you've accomplished so much good. There's so much left for you to do. It will get better."

"I KILLED THEM, DON'T YOU KNOW THAT?" he suddenly screamed at the top of his lungs. From the rooftop, it seemed to echo throughout town. "WHAT KIND OF A MONSTER AM I?!"

"Danno!" Steve turned him so they were face to face. "I know everything that happened and I know why."

"You can't possibly know! I killed them! There was blood everywhere and he wouldn't die!" Danny was absolutely manic. He tried to pull free of Steve's fierce grasp unsuccessfully. "Please just let me die! The blood was on my hands. It is on my hands. It won't wash off!" He held out his hands, rubbing them violently together. "It won't come off--won't-"

"Danno!" Steve shouted at him, this time roughly. "You did not do wrong by defending yourself."

"Defending myself?" he whispered weakly. He sagged back in McGarrett's embrace, helplessly. "Defending myself? I butchered that man--a human being. I cut him to pieces! I cut off his head!"

Steve wanted to tell him that human beings didn't contemplate cannibalism. Instead, he enfolded Danny in his arms as they both sat on the hot, sticky tar roof. What can I do to help him come back? God, I'll get him help, I'll see to it he goes, just let him get out of here with some kind of dignity intact. A movement from the corner of the roof caught Steve's eye and he turned.

Oliver Wetzel stood in the doorway, no emotion registering on his face whatsoever. None of the caustic remarks or patronizing looks--just standing there.

Steve would have given his own life for it to have been anyone else in the world. Rage exploded in his mind and portrayed itself in the hostile look that washed over his face. "Do something worth while, Wetzel. Call 911." Are you happy with what you've done?

Without a word, Wetzel turned away.

No, Wetzel didn't do this. Danny did it to himself. He should have gotten professional help. I did this because I let him try to handle it alone.


Steve did not care what became of the others who had been at the early morning meeting in HPD. He returned to the office exhausted, angry, and confused. Sometimes the office could be a point of refuge and right now that was what he needed. He was consumed with guilt and sorrow. No one could have seen this coming, he tried to tell himself. It was just a freak of poor wording on Wetzel's part. Or was it? Was there something I missed? Does Wetzel know? How much did he hear on the roof? He opened the door to his office to see Duke Lukela standing there. Duke's expression was anything but serene. Steve wondered if he looked as bewildered as Duke did.

"Steve, what's going on?"

He stood there, unable to hide the pain. Duke never knew about the Fijian poachers either. The secret was kept from him, too. And this isn't the time, either. "Wetzel," he said, praying that Duke would press no farther.

He said nothing, but there was a look of disappointment in his eyes. Whatever this is, Steve won't even trust me with it. There has been the aura of tragedy in this office for months. It is so close to the surface, I can almost touch it. "Steve, talk to me. Something has been wrong here for a long time."

Steve sank down onto the couch, elbows on his knees, hand to his forehead. "I can't."

"I heard about Wetzel and his accusations. I knew Danny had problems, but I never imagined...I should have told you, but I kept thinking he'd find his way out. I'm sorry, Steve."

McGarrett looked up at Duke. "You knew?" Is that possible? Danny told him?

He nodded. "I should have reported him."

"Reported him?"

"I didn't think there were drugs involved, too."

"Drugs?" What are we talking about?

Duke was watching Steve closely. "We aren't talking about the same thing, are we."

Steve did not reply. You first.

"His drinking problem."

"Drinking?" Steve whispered.

"I knew he was drinking more and more, but he seemed able to keep it out of his professional life, so I didn't say anything. I was trying to get him to enroll in AA."

Steve just stared at Duke. Is there no bottom to this? Kimo's accusation haunted him. "You won't even consider the possibility..." "I don't think there is a drug problem," he said thickly. Am I sure? I don't know what I'm sure of anymore.

Confused concern etched across Duke's usually calm features. "I don't understand."

Steve's gaze drifted and came to rest on the board containing information about Mayan Shipping. He rose and approached the board. I haven't even remembered Robert Bedson. Is that what is behind this? Is there a connection? "Duke, get Kimo in here. I think I'd like Wetzel's services, too."

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